Curfew to be lifted for daylight hours on August 18: Sangma
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said curfew, which has been clamped here following unrest, will be lifted for daylight hours on August 18 as there were no untoward incidents in the last 24 hours.
Easing of the restrictions will continue till Wednesday evening, he said.
The curfew has been imposed in Shillong till 5 am of August 18 and mobile internet services withdrawn in at least four districts as vandalism and arson rocked the state capital and nearby areas on Independence Day during the funeral procession of a former militant, who was killed in a recent police encounter.
The CM said mobile internet services will also be restored by Wednesday evening. “There were no untoward incidents reported in the state capital in the past 24 hours. We are positive that normalcy will return. We will ease curfew till Wednesday evening. Mobile internet services will also be restored by tomorrow evening,” Sangma said.
Violence erupted in Mawlai and Jaiaw areas of Shillong following the death of Cheristerfield Thangkhiew, the former self-styled general secretary of the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), in an encounter when the police raided his home in the early hours of August 13.
Thangkhiew, who had surrendered in 2018, was shot dead when he allegedly tried to attack a police team with a knife during the raid in connection with a series of IED blasts in the state. "In Shillong, two persons were injured on August 10 after IED blasts occurred. Following this, an investigation was initiated, and based on the inputs, the raid was conducted," the chief minister said.
Unidentified miscreants hurled petrol bombs at the residence of Sangma late on Sunday. A vehicle carrying CRPF personnel was attacked by protesters in Mawlai area here during curfew hours. The state government launched a police helpline for people in need of evacuation.
“The Meghalaya Police has set up a helpline number for citizens stranded in the state capital. While there were no untoward incidents, those who wish to get evacuated will be assisted,” a senior home department official told PTI. He said three control rooms being handled by the state police are tasked with responding to evacuation calls from anyone and anywhere in the city.
Meghalaya Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui had resigned on Sunday amid violence in the city over the police shooting of the former militant. The Meghalaya Human Rights Commission has also taken suo moto cognisance of the encounter and asked Chief Secretary MS Rao to provide a report on the incident within 15 days.
Sangma had on Monday announced a judicial investigation into the encounter killing of the former militant. The Assam government has also issued an advisory, asking people not to travel to Shillong in the wake of the law and order situation.